Howard W. French

Howard W. French


My latest work of non-fiction is titled “Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World,” Liveright, Oct. 2021, named a book of the year by the Financial Times and by Amazon. It was also the winner of the 2022 MAAH Stone Award and the Hurston Wright Legacy Award. For details, see:

I am a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I am also a former foreign correspondent and senior writer for The New York Times, having worked as a bureau chief in China, Japan, West and Central Africa and Central America and the Caribbean.

My most recent previous book is, “Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Explain China’s Push for Global Power,” published by Knopf in March 2017:

Prior to that, I wrote China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa. (Knopf 2014) “Second Continent” was named by The New York Times, The Economist and by The Guardian as one of the most notable books of the year.

My other books include “A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa,” (2004) and “Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life,” a collection of my documentary photography, published with original poetry by Qiu Xiaolong. (2012)

I write a weekly global affairs column at Foreign Policy, and I am a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books. I tweet at @hofrench